How to Make an Exercise Desk at Home Including on Peloton

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated if you click a link. There is absolutely no cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you considered setting up an exercise desk at home?

If so, you’re not alone.

With so many of us working in hybrid situations, you may be interested in finding a way to create a workable space at home that also is good for your health.

I’m sure you’ve seen the studies that say sitting can be as bad for us as smoking.


It’s one of the reasons that I have a timer on my phone set to go off every hour so I know to stand up, if I’m sitting at a desk.

Otherwise, I’ll rely on my exercise desk or walking desk to get in my steps, get my work done and keep me healthy.

make an exercise desk at home person standingWhat is an exercise desk

Exercise desks take many forms. These include:

  • walking desk
  • standing or standup desk
  • desk cycle or bike

We have had an exercise desk, in one form or another, for more than a decade.

In fact, in our house now, we have two of three kinds of exercise desks I’ve mentioned in that bulleted list above.

We have a DIY treadmill or walking desk.

Also, we have a bike desk using our Peloton.

First, I’ll explain how we created each of these two kinds of desks that let you workout while you work.

Then, I’ll explain how you can set up a standing or stand up desk.

Finally, I’ll make suggestions on how you can make these kinds of desks for you at home.

I’ll share tips using items you already own as well as new ones you may want to buy.

Whenever possible, I’ll share pictures so it all makes sense.

Treadmill desk

My desire to create a walking desk or treadmill desk started a number of years ago as a New Year’s resolution.

I read some medical research about how sitting isn’t good for my health.

These studies had shown that people who sit a lot tend to die younger.

I knew I wanted a walking desk, but I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars getting one into my office.

FYI, walking desks are sometimes called exercise desks, treadmill offices, workstation treadmill, and more.

We already owned a treadmill so I figured there had to be a hack out there that could turn my regular treadmill into a walking desk.

My husband figured something out using products we already had at home.

This setup is so easy that even if you’re not DIY inclined, you could make a treadmill desk, too.

My DIY walking desk

Basically, what we did was create a work surface above our existing treadmill.

It’s a NordicTrack treadmill we’ve had for years and I love.

We accomplished this by taking a board that is 16 inches deep and 32.5 inches wide.

It’s supposed to be a shelf to hang on a wall, but we weren’t using it at the time.

Then, we clamped the shelf/board to the handles of the treadmill.

We used two bar clamps, which tighten with a pumping motion–like pulling the trigger on a spray bottle–and then lock in place.

The board aka desk surface is wide enough for me to fit my laptop, external mouse/trackball, and a pad of paper and pen for taking notes while working and walking.

It’s like being able to spread out on a regular desk, albeit one that is suspended above the treadmill on which I am walking.

It’s not pretty, but it works.

diy walking treadmill desk big

Walking pad for a walking desk

Another options that wasn’t available when I first made my walking desk is something called a Walking Pad.

These are under desk treadmills specifically designed to be paired with standing desks.

Unlike a traditional treadmill, the Walking Pad does not have any handles.

So, you can slip it right under a table that raises up to standing height.

Also, Walking Pads fold up.

Therefore, if you’re short on space, you can tuck them away when the work day is over.

On the other hand, they are so slim that you could slide them under a piece of furniture, too, to get them out of the way.

How to walk and work at your exercise desk

Some people are amazed that I can do both simultaneously.

Understand that when I’m working at my treadmill desk, I’m walking at a leisurely 1.5 miles per hour.

That’s like a pace you would use when strolling with your dog.

Honestly, walking and working at the laptop is easier than you might think–and I’m pretty klutzy.

What is sometimes challenging, however, is hand writing anything, which is why I tend to stick with the computer work.

When I use my treadmill desk, I walk, on average, an extra 60 minutes a day.

All together I am getting significantly more exercise in my day.

And my lower back does hurt a lot less than it used to.

Because I always stretch afterwards.

Stretching is so important.

Spintray for Peloton

With my Peloton bike I hadn’t found a way to have the cycle do double duty as a workstation.

I know people who’ve had cycle desks or bike desks, but these were built using “regular” spin or stationary bikes.

I wasn’t sure you could turn your Peloton into a bike desk.

Until now.

What is the SpinTray exercise desk?

Then I discovered something called the SpinTray for Peloton.

It’s a custom-cut piece of acrylic that slips over the Peloton handlebars.

It’s got a little “stick” to it (but not like flypaper) so your laptop doesn’t slide off.

Use code LEAH10 at checkout to save 10%.

This is a great option when you want to use your Peloton for a “Just Ride” while checking email or working on your computer.

Clearly, you do not want to do a HIIT ride or a Power Zone class with your laptop in front of you.

But if you’re looking to be active while working at a “desk,” the SpinTray is a great option.

I’ve even recommended the Spintray in my gift guide for Peloton users.

That’s a picture of my Spin tray on my Peloton bike, with my laptop on top.

Yes, you really can work on your computer while on the bike.

spin tray desk for peloton

SpinTray for Bike Plus

The makers of SpinTray have leveled up their game by rolling out different versions of the original SpinTray.

In fact, when you visit their site using this link, you can choose a SpinTray for the original Peloton bike or the Echelon or the Sunny Health bike.

Also on their e-commerce site–and not available on Amazon, Etsy, or anywhere else?

A SpinTray for Bike Plus.

Since the handlebar shape of the Peloton Bike Plus changed, so, too, did the shape of the Bike Plus SpinTray.

So as not to confuse readers, I’m calling this the SpinTray Plus.

Speaking of Bike Plus, here is my comparison of the original Peloton versus the Peloton Bike Plus.

SpinTray for a treadmill

The creator of the SpinTray now sells the StepTray.

It’s basically the SpinTray for the Peloton Tread.

It goes in the area underneath the Tread’s screen.

Anyway, I’ve had people land on my blog, looking for a bike desk for Peloton.

They’re searching for a Peloton laptop holder or tray.

Or a Peloton desk attachment.

Whatever you call it, this real SpinTray can help you get your work done and keep your Peloton streak going.

Use code LEAH10 on the TopForm Design site to save 10% on your SpinTray or StepTray.

Here are more accessories for your Tread.

Finally, I just discovered that Top Form Design makes a step tray for traditional treadmills now.

I’m going to get a tray for my NordicTrack treadmill after all.

StepTray for Peloton

Standing desk

Perhaps the easiest exercise desk you can make is the standing desk.

That’s because if you have a bar-height counter in your home, you’re all set.


Because the bar height is probably the perfect height for a standing desk.

How to make a stand-up desk

Say you don’t have a bar-height surface in your home.

We don’t in ours.

So I got an adjustable height table.

I got mine at Costco but I’ve also seen adjustable height tables that could work as a standing desk at Staples.

Important money-saving tip: when you search on the Staples site for an adjustable height table, the first suggestion the site is going to make is an adjustable height desk.

Yes, that’s what you want.

No, that’s not the price you want to pay.

We’re talking multiple hundreds of dollars.

I’ve also seen adjustable height tables on Amazon.

This one looks almost identical to the one I got, in person, at Costco.

It adjusts to three heights:

  • 24-inch, which is children’s height
  • 29-inch table height, which is a regular table height
  • 36-inch, which is countertop height

This last height is actually a little higher than my Costco table.

At its tallest it’s only 34 inches.

Laptop stand to create a standing desk

In addition to buying a regular table that happens to have an adjustable height, you can also get yourself a laptop stand or a laptop riser.

This can help you turn a regular table into a standing or stand up desk by raising the surface on which you put your laptop.

The folks behind the aforementioned SpinTray and StepTray have a laptop stand.

It comes as part of the StepTray.

However, if you want to DIY your standing desk, I would recommend this laptop stand.

It’s affordable and easy to use.

Get a rug for your standing desk

If you do end up working in your kitchen at your standing desk–or on any hard surface–I would recommend getting some kind of gel pad floor mat for under your feet.

You may have noticed that chefs use them in kitchens or hair stylists in salons.

That’s because hard floors can be unforgiving on your feet and legs.

And if you’re going to start standing while you work, you should invest in something that won’t leave your back or legs aching.

A good pair of shoes to wear is also a no-brainer.

Padded Mats for a Standing Desk

For your standing or standup exercise desk, you'll want something called an anti-fatigue mat to put underneath.

Exercise desk ergonomics

Regardless of which exercise desk you decide to build or buy, you should always practice good ergonomics.

This helps avoid sore muscles and fatigue.

First, you want to make sure that you aren’t looking down to see your computer screen.

It’s why, with my walking desk, I propped my laptop up on a bin.

Next, you don’t want to be reaching too far to get to your keyboard–or squishing your wrists in.

They should lay comfortably on the desk as if you were sitting at a regular desk.

Finally, think about your footwear.

So what about footwear?

Well, if you’re at a standup desk, wear sturdy, supportive shoes.

Maybe a small step to rest one of your feet on to help your lower back.

Leave a Comment